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New 10 year plan launched to help protect honey bees
The Healthy Bees Plan 2030 was developed in consultation with bee health stakeholders.

Defra publishes key outcomes to improve bee health

Defra and the Welsh government have announced the launch of the Healthy Bees Plan 2030, which aims to sustain and improve the health of honey bees in England and Wales.

Bees are a vital part of in UK food and crop production, but bee populations in the UK are struggling as a result of pests, diseases and environmental threats including the invasive Asian hornet.

The Healthy Bees Plan 2030 sets out four key outcomes to help protect bee health and beekeeping in England and Wales over the next decade. According to Defra's statement, these outcomes include:

1. effective biosecurity and good standards of husbandry, to minimise pest and disease risks and improve the sustainability of honey bee populations

2. enhanced skills and improved production capability of beekeepers and bee farmers

3. strong scientific evidence supporting the actions taken to support bee health

4. increased opportunities for knowledge sharing and collaboration in relation to honey bee health and the needs of pollinators.

Commenting on the launch of the plan, pollinators minister Rebecca Pow, said: “During the coronavirus pandemic we have seen an increased connection with the natural world, and the new Healthy Bees Plan provides a blueprint to look after the health of some of our most important insects – the bees – our unsung heroes.

“Bee health stakeholders have had a key role in developing our plan, and we look forward to working together to help ensure our bees can survive and thrive for future generations.”

Steps will now be taken to implement the Healthy Bees Plan 2030 in collaboration with beekeepers, bee farmers, organisations and government.

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RCVS launches photo contest for Mental Health Awareness Week

News Story 1
 The RCVS Mind Matters Initiative (MMI) is holding a photo competition for Mental Health Awareness Week to highlight the link between the natural world and wellbeing.

Mental Health Awareness Week (10-16 May) aims to encourage people to talk about their mental health and reduce the stigma that can prevent people from seeking help. This year's theme is nature - notably the connection between the natural world and better mental health.

The RCVS is calling on aspiring photographers to submit a photo on this theme to Lisa Quigley, Mind Matters manager, at with a short explanation about their submission and why nature improves their mental health and wellbeing.  

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News Shorts
WSAVA to host free webinar on illegal online puppy trade

The World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) has announced a free webinar to update veterinary professionals across Europe about the illegal online puppy trade. Taking place on Tuesday, 25 May, the webinar will also discuss the importance of the new EU Animal Health Law to help prevent illegal pet sales and make sellers accountable for their actions.

WSAVA chair Dr Natasha Lee said: "Veterinary professionals regularly have to deal with the repercussions of illicit breeding and trading when presented with clinically ill and sometimes dying puppies and distraught owners. Our webinar will equip veterinarians in Europe with the knowledge to play their part in upholding the new legislation and to contribute to new solutions for regulating the online puppy trade."

For more details visit